how many parties stood for election in 2015/2017?

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am99
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been trying to find a stat for how many parties took part in the 2015 or 2017 election but have had no luck so far, need it as its more recent then 2010 and 2017 will be even better because it was a snap election and if a lot of parties took part then it shows UK is democratic and so on.
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University of East Anglia PG Student Rep
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(Original post by am99)
been trying to find a stat for how many parties took part in the 2015 or 2017 election but have had no luck so far, need it as its more recent then 2010 and 2017 will be even better because it was a snap election and if a lot of parties took part then it shows UK is democratic and so on.
Hi there!

I just had a good look for this data, and I couldn't find anything at all! I looked all over the Electoral Commission's website, as well as some research organisations and didn't come close - I'm quite surprised that this figure doesn't appear to exist anywhere. If you were to study each individual constituency and make note of every new party you spot on the list, then it could theoretically be done - but I wouldn't wish that task on anybody...

I've had a think, and there is another way you could try and have a similar discussion with figures which are accessible. I found a graph on this BBC article which details changes in vote share among all parties other than Cons/Lab. It shows a sharp downward trend at the time of the 2017 election, meaning that the vote share of other parties has dropped significantly. Perhaps you could argue that the lack of support for more diverse political interests is indicative of a 'less democratic' political system?

Let me know what you think of my idea - hope this has helped!

Fred - UEA PG Rep
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artful_lounger
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I thought this said "how many particles stood for election" which is either none or a lot depending on your perspective

In any case, you might be able to find something on the Office for National Statistics pages of relevance. Alternately you could make a Freedom of Information Act request to the Electoral Commission or similar body, through e.g. whatdotheyknow.com
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am99
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(Original post by University of East Anglia PG Student Rep)
Hi there!

I just had a good look for this data, and I couldn't find anything at all! I looked all over the Electoral Commission's website, as well as some research organisations and didn't come close - I'm quite surprised that this figure doesn't appear to exist anywhere. If you were to study each individual constituency and make note of every new party you spot on the list, then it could theoretically be done - but I wouldn't wish that task on anybody...

I've had a think, and there is another way you could try and have a similar discussion with figures which are accessible. I found a graph on this BBC article which details changes in vote share among all parties other than Cons/Lab. It shows a sharp downward trend at the time of the 2017 election, meaning that the vote share of other parties has dropped significantly. Perhaps you could argue that the lack of support for more diverse political interests is indicative of a 'less democratic' political system?

Let me know what you think of my idea - hope this has helped!

Fred - UEA PG Rep
Yes can use that idea for sure , it will be a good evaluation point, thank you for trying to look.
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am99
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I thought this said "how many particles stood for election" which is either none or a lot depending on your perspective

In any case, you might be able to find something on the Office for National Statistics pages of relevance. Alternately you could make a Freedom of Information Act request to the Electoral Commission or similar body, through e.g. whatdotheyknow.com
Thanks for the suggestion, might actual make a request.
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am99
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(Original post by University of East Anglia PG Student Rep)
Hi there!

I just had a good look for this data, and I couldn't find anything at all! I looked all over the Electoral Commission's website, as well as some research organisations and didn't come close - I'm quite surprised that this figure doesn't appear to exist anywhere. If you were to study each individual constituency and make note of every new party you spot on the list, then it could theoretically be done - but I wouldn't wish that task on anybody...

I've had a think, and there is another way you could try and have a similar discussion with figures which are accessible. I found a graph on this BBC article which details changes in vote share among all parties other than Cons/Lab. It shows a sharp downward trend at the time of the 2017 election, meaning that the vote share of other parties has dropped significantly. Perhaps you could argue that the lack of support for more diverse political interests is indicative of a 'less democratic' political system?

Let me know what you think of my idea - hope this has helped!

Fred - UEA PG Rep

I don't want to create another thread and i feel like that you are good at politics so could help me with this paragraph, I am arguing that pressure groups undermine democracy because they have undemocratic structures , e.g. could say Greenpeace is elitist in higher levels and acts without a mandate or that groups such as the NSPCC don't have a democratically elected leaders, therefore they lack the legitimacy than an elected body such as the hoc has.
I am stuck on how to evaluate this, could I say that pressure groups are different to parties and thus don't even need an elected leader? and that many pressure groups are still very pluralist in nature.
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(Original post by am99)
I don't want to create another thread and i feel like that you are good at politics so could help me with this paragraph, I am arguing that pressure groups undermine democracy because they have undemocratic structures , e.g. could say Greenpeace is elitist in higher levels and acts without a mandate or that groups such as the NSPCC don't have a democratically elected leaders, therefore they lack the legitimacy than an elected body such as the hoc has.
I am stuck on how to evaluate this, could I say that pressure groups are different to parties and thus don't even need an elected leader? and that many pressure groups are still very pluralist in nature.
Hey again I'm happy to give you my perspective on this!

You raise an interesting discussion - should interest groups be allowed to influence policy making when they lack a 'popular' mandate? For me, there's 2 things to consider;

1) Interest groups do not necessarily have unelected leaders. In fact, some of the largest and most influential groups do elect a leader - for instance, Unite the Union allows its members to participate in voting for the new General Secretary. Almost 130,000 votes were cast in their most recent election - so does this give them a democratic mandate to influence policy? Greenpeace also elects a leader, although not in the same direct manner that Unite does - their governance structure is outlined in this section of their wikipedia page, for reference. Many pressure groups will have their own processes for electing their executive, and generally only the smaller ones will have appointed leaders.

2) Interest groups can enable change which the majority of people wish to see happen, but aren't able to implement themselves. It can be argued that, because many people's lives are too busy to campaign for the change they wish to see, interest groups actually enhance democracy as they campaign on behalf of people who are too busy. For instance, by the time the smoking ban was introduced in the UK, opinion polling showed that it was a popular move (see this page on Centre for Policy Impact's website under the heading 'Public Confidence'.) A paper I once used in an essay, by the Institute for Government, shows how research and lobbying encouraged the government to change their stance on smoking over the years (read it here.) Given that the move was popular, does this make the anti-smoking groups more democratic?

Another point you might want to consider is that interest groups can fill the 'knowledge gap' which lawmakers may have on certain issues. Politicians legislate on a range of areas, from the environment to employment regulations and so on - but that doesn't make them experts on all those subjects. However, successful interest groups are often associated with academics/leading researchers in their areas, making them a good source for knowledge of the topic. Parliamentary committees will therefore consult interest groups and other people who have an interest in/are affected by the policy. Is there a way that this can slot into the democratic argument? Is democracy strengthened by evidence lead policy? Something to think about!

Those are just my thoughts - I hope its given you some more ideas for your essay! Let me know if you want to chat about anything else

Fred - UEA PG Rep
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am99
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(Original post by University of East Anglia PG Student Rep)
Hey again I'm happy to give you my perspective on this!

You raise an interesting discussion - should interest groups be allowed to influence policy making when they lack a 'popular' mandate? For me, there's 2 things to consider;

1) Interest groups do not necessarily have unelected leaders. In fact, some of the largest and most influential groups do elect a leader - for instance, Unite the Union allows its members to participate in voting for the new General Secretary. Almost 130,000 votes were cast in their most recent election - so does this give them a democratic mandate to influence policy? Greenpeace also elects a leader, although not in the same direct manner that Unite does - their governance structure is outlined in this section of their wikipedia page, for reference. Many pressure groups will have their own processes for electing their executive, and generally only the smaller ones will have appointed leaders.

2) Interest groups can enable change which the majority of people wish to see happen, but aren't able to implement themselves. It can be argued that, because many people's lives are too busy to campaign for the change they wish to see, interest groups actually enhance democracy as they campaign on behalf of people who are too busy. For instance, by the time the smoking ban was introduced in the UK, opinion polling showed that it was a popular move (see this page on Centre for Policy Impact's website under the heading 'Public Confidence'.) A paper I once used in an essay, by the Institute for Government, shows how research and lobbying encouraged the government to change their stance on smoking over the years (read it here.) Given that the move was popular, does this make the anti-smoking groups more democratic?

Another point you might want to consider is that interest groups can fill the 'knowledge gap' which lawmakers may have on certain issues. Politicians legislate on a range of areas, from the environment to employment regulations and so on - but that doesn't make them experts on all those subjects. However, successful interest groups are often associated with academics/leading researchers in their areas, making them a good source for knowledge of the topic. Parliamentary committees will therefore consult interest groups and other people who have an interest in/are affected by the policy. Is there a way that this can slot into the democratic argument? Is democracy strengthened by evidence lead policy? Something to think about!

Those are just my thoughts - I hope its given you some more ideas for your essay! Let me know if you want to chat about anything else

Fred - UEA PG Rep

Thank you so much for that, that was so detailed and I was not expecting that, you can just tell the amount of knowledge you have in politics. I
managed to slot in all three points you raised and its improved my essay a lot. One last favour because am struggling on this essay.

The essay title is, To what extent has the power and influence of pressure groups changed in recent years. , this is what I got from the examiner’s report

The strongest responses to this question contrasted the numerical power of pressure groups with the passive participation of ‘cheque-book members’ and furnished their answers with specific examples of pressure groups being ignored by the government.

Some of the most impressive responses made perceptive points about the relationship between pressure group influence and the government’s agenda, and how pressure group power relied on the character and ideology of the government of the day.

So i based my first paragraph on that the influence and power that pressure groups have has changed in recent years because it depends on the government's agenda etc, for example corporatism was in labours agenda in the 1970's and they used to consult with key economic pressure groups such as TUC and CBI, but with conservatives in power it came to an end, also labour right now would be more likely to listen to the groups that want to end austerity as they have right now failed to counter- act the cuts made by the government, e.g. Jeremy Corbyn even took part in an anti-austerity march. I could evaluate this with saying that some pressure groups have still been successful for example saving the UK's forest and the last point that you raised, that parliamentary committees still consult with some pressure groups.

My second point could be on the fact that there are over 7000 pressure groups and some are bigger than all the political parties combined which means that power and influence has increased so has changed. but evaluate that by saying that most of the members simply pay a subscription fee and don't take part in actually influencing politics.

I am just stuck on how to say that power and influence has not changed
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